Answering Questions About Dental Bridges
- July 16, 2016
An old English proverb says, “Let every man praise the bridge that carries him over.”
It’s an interesting thought, but we need a minute to see how it applies to dental bridges.
In case you doubt that a dental bridge can take you from one place to another, we could refer you to some of the patients who have visited our dentist office in Plainville, CT. We have seen a dental bridge take someone who was embarrassed by his or her smile to someone who now smiles confidently and without any self-consciousness.
We know that many people have many questions about dental bridges based on our experience here at Gentle Dental Care. We aren’t going to try to answer all of them today, but we do want to answer a few.
If you still have more questions at the end of this post, we invite you to call us or schedule a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Peltzer.
Why Should You Get A Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges are used to replace a missing tooth or teeth.
Your teeth rely on one another for support. You may not realize it, but your teeth move throughout the day. The movements are too small for you to notice, but they do happen.
Part of the reason we don’t notice these movements is because our teeth generally wind up in the same positions. Why? It’s because our teeth press into and hold each other in place.
We know this because teeth can and do drift when someone has a missing tooth. Over time, the neighboring teeth can move into the space previously occupied by the lost tooth. This can affect how well you can bite and chew your food, not to mention the effect on your smile.
A dental bridge can fill in that gap and provide the support that once came from your missing tooth or teeth.
This can keep your teeth where they are supposed to be and your smile look as good as (or maybe better than) it ever has.
What Holds A Dental Bridge In Place?
This depends on whether you have a traditional bridge or an implant-supported bridge.
The size of the bridge will vary based on how many teeth you have lost and the type of bridge you choose to get.
With a traditional bridge, you have two types of crowns. The abutment crowns are on the outside, and these serve as the anchor points for your dental bridge. The crown or crowns in the middle of the bridge are called pontics.
You will have one pontic for each missing tooth, which means a traditional bridge will have two more crowns than the number of teeth that you are missing.
With an implant-supported bridge, we would place dental implants in your jaw instead of reshaping teeth to support the abutment crowns.
You would have one crown for each missing tooth. The number of implants would vary with the size of the bridge, which could include two or more dental crowns.
Why Can A Dental Bridge Fall Out?
One factor is oral hygiene. You may not get tooth decay on the bridge itself, but the teeth under the abutment bridges can. If they become weak or decayed, this can allow the dental bridge to come loose.
Trauma can affect a dental bridge just as it could affect your teeth. A hard impact to the mouth can cause your bridge to break loose.
If you have an implant-supported bridge, gum disease can become a concern. If the gum tissue around your implants becomes infected, this can affect how secure your implants are.
On rare occasions, the jawbone does not bond properly with implants in the months after they are placed.
How Do You Clean A Dental Bridge?
If you have a permanent bridge, then you need to treat them like you would real teeth. You need to brush twice per day and floss on a daily basis as well. Keeping your mouth healthy will help your dental bridge remain in place.
Could A Dental Bridge Help You?
To answer this question, you should visit Gentle Dental Care. Our dentist can examine your mouth to determine if you are a good candidate for an implant-supported bridge or a traditional bridge.
If you are missing teeth, we do recommend replacing them as soon as possible. This is better for your remaining natural teeth and your overall oral health.